Food & Nutrition

Effects of not Chewing Food Enough or Properly

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Are you aware that you might be messing up by not chewing food enough? Chewing food or mastication is an essential aspect of nutrition. Choosing not to chew your food enough, thoroughly or properly can lead to a couple of problems that may affect your general well-being.

 Why would you not chew food properly?

You may not chew your food probably because it is a habit you have grown up with. When you were a kid, your momma used to tell you to finish up what was in your plate quickly so as to catch the school bus, classes, church etc. Other reasons as to why or circumstances under which you may not chew properly include;

  • When you are in hurry.
  • When you are watching participating in other activities while eating. Such activities include Watching TV, driving, operating machinery etc.
  • Speed eating or competitive eating, a sport in which participants compete against each other to eat large quantities of food in a short duration of time.

Effects of not chewing food enough

Effects of not chewing food enough

What happens when you choose not to chew your food properly? Could there be any effects?  Continue reading to find out.

1. Not chewing food properly prevents you from enjoying your meals. Everyone is entitled to enjoyment. Enjoyment is fun, it is pleasure and it is satisfaction. I bet you would not wish to miss it out all these. Put in other words, rushing through your meal with hardly any chewing, will not provide you an opportunity to taste or enjoy the meal. When you set time for your meals, concentrate, and chew properly, it forces you to slow down, savor each morsel and really enjoy all the flavors your meal has to offer.

2. Another disadvantage or improper chewing of food is that it can lead to a condition known as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). GERD is a condition in which the stomach contents (food or liquid) leak backwards from the stomach into the tube from the mouth to the stomach (esophagus). This action can irritate the esophagus, causing heartburn and other symptoms. The condition can also damage the lining of the throat and esophagus. According to studies, about 44% of Americans experience reflux or heartburn at least once a month, 20% have it every week and 7% suffer from it daily.

3. Not chewing food enough can result to insufficient nutrients for your body. Improper chewing means no breakdown of large food particles into smaller particles that are easier to digest. In addition makes it harder for your intestines to absorb vitamins, minerals and other nutrients from the food particles as they pass through. Improperly digested food, which can cause a variety of adverse effects to your health, may also enter into your blood. So, never under estimate the importance of chewing.

Recent research presented at the 2013 Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting and Food Expo in Chicago showed, in fact, that when participants chewed almonds longer, the smaller particles were better and more quickly absorbed by the body.

In those who chewed less, the larger particles were passed through the body, while also providing opportunistic bacteria and fungi with a source of fuel during their transit. Purdue University professor Dr. Richard Mattes explained:

“Particle size [affects the] bioaccessibility of the energy of the food that is being consumed. The more you chew, the less is lost and more is retained in the body.”


4. It can lead to increased risk of bacterial overgrowth: Improper chewing creates room for large food particles which cannot be easily and fully digested by your stomach. Therefore some food will be left partially unprocessed. This undigested food causes an increase in bacteria in the colon, which may cause a variety of symptoms including, gas and bloating, diarrhea or constipation, abdominal pain and cramping etc.

5. Yet another reason, not chewing food enough leads overeating. It can be hard to maintain a healthy weight if you are hardly taking your time to chew food thoroughly.

6. It increases the risk of food poisoning.  Without mastication, food won’t have enough exposure saliva. Why is exposure to saliva important? The saliva contains an enzyme (lysozyme) which is useful at destroying food-borne pathogens that can cause serious illness and even death. The more you masticate, the more you expose food to the anti-bacterial enzyme

7. This practice can encourage poor oral health. By not chewing your food thoroughly, the bones holding your teeth will miss workout and hence become weak and unhealthy.  In addition there will be increase plaque buildup tooth decay since you not chewing properly won’t produce enough saliva that can clear food particles and bacteria out of the mouth.

8.Finally,  not chewing food enough can result to incomplete digestion. When you do not chew properly, probably you are not signaling the chemicals in the mouth, or stomach to go and finish the digestion properly without some distress. This lead to development of ulcers, gas and bloating, diarrhea or constipation, abdominal pain and cramping can develop.

Does not chewing food make you fat or gain weight?

Not chewing thoroughly means taking more calories which will result to weight gain.When you start eating, it takes about 20 minutes before your brain starts receiving signals that your stomach is full. So if you chew your food thoroughly or  simply longer you won’t be able to eat as much before your brain realizes that your stomach is filling up.  Water matters here is how mush you eat in the first 20 minutes Not the actual amount of chewing you do. You could also extent the chewing time is to set your fork down in between bites. This can help avoid overeating.

According to More chewing results to fewer calories. A  research study found that individuals who chewed their food more ended up taking in fewer calories. Researchers found that the obese participants consumed their food more quickly and chewed the food less.

You might also be interested to learn more from the following chewing-related articles


  1. belgravia villas

    February 26, 2014 at 5:18 am

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  2. Virginia Golden

    November 17, 2016 at 2:00 am

    On your list of reasons people might not thoroughly chew their food, you left out a fairly significant one – missing teeth, especially molars. I have never been a gobbler, preferring to eat slowly whenever I can. However, I still end up swallowing food before it is sufficiently chewed.

    • Charl

      November 19, 2016 at 2:40 am

      Hello Virginia, thank you so much for your contribution. I will include it list.

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